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Miranda Lambert Talks Love, Marriage, and Taking Vacations: “I’ve Been Everywhere and Seen Nothing”

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Country musician Miranda Lambert is at the top of her game. Not only is she in her creative prime — she’s released four records in three years, including her recent solo album Palomino — but she also appears to be deliriously content in her personal life. 

“Finding happiness and being at peace with yourself, it’s a long journey, but I’ve really gotten to a great place,” Lambert, 38, told PEOPLE. “My manager’s been good about asking me to ‘sit in my life.’ Country music is a huge part of my life, but it’s not fully who I am.”

Lambert lives in Nashville, but will be in Vegas this fall at her Velvet Rodeo residency. She also has several non-musical business ventures cooking: a restaurant in Nashville called Casa Rosa, a fashion label called Idyllwind, and a pet adoption charity called MuttNation Foundation. Her next project will be Wanda June Home, a home goods line at Walmart.

Despite her famously hectic schedule, Lambert also finds time to prioritize her marriage to Brendan McLoughlin, a retired NYPD officer she married in January 2019 after three joy-filled months of dating. Following her very public divorce from Blake Shelton in 2015 — and the subsequent media scrutiny she endured — Lambert is relieved to be in a romantic relationship that’s less public and more stable. 

Of her husband, Lambert told PEOPLE: “He jumped right into this lifestyle — there’s a learning curve taking a New Yorker straight to the woods — but it was a big laugh.”

Perhaps because of this comfort and balance, Lambert claims she’s finally ready for a vacation — a rarity in the busy superstar’s life. “It’s really about balance of life and work for me right now,” she says. “I’ve been touring for 20 years, and I’ve been everywhere and seen nothing — just a lot of parking lots. I’m trying to use my downtime to really experience life. I always get the boring months off, and I’m like, ‘Can I just have a sunshiny month off?’ So the first of July, I’m out of here, and I’m taking my Airstream.”

We wish Miranda all the best on her well-deserved summer vacay. It seems those tumultuous years in the spotlight have gotten her to the good place she’s in today. “Without the hard stuff — the chaos, the crazy schedule, the heartbreak, the falling in love, the falling out of love — I wouldn’t be who I am,” she concluded. “I’m thankful for the lessons, even though they hurt at the time.”

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